Sunday 2 September 2012

Make your own lemon battery powered clock

Make your own lemon battery powered clock!

This is such a cool and easy experiment to try at home. 

What you’ll need

·         2 copper plates

·         2 Zinc plates

·         Wire

·         An  LCD digital clock

This is one of those projects where it really makes sense to buy the set but if you want to know how it’s done before you buy it here we go:

You will need to cut your lemon (orange, potato, grapefruit or even a soft drink will do, you could even try  mud I was told the other day!) in half stick one copper plate in each half and one zinc plate in each half.  The copper plates are the positive of the battery and the zinc the negative. With one piece of wire connect one of the coppers to one of the zincs.  Now you should have a red wire and a black wire attached to the clock.  The black wire is a neutral or ground connection wire. Why a black and a red wire?  Correct me if I’m wrong, I am learning this with the girls but I believe the black is a negative wire and the red a positive.

The would make sense because in this circuit we attach the red wire to the copper plate (positive to positive) and the black wire to the zinc plate negative to the negative.  You will see your clock is now powered.  But how?

The copper plates act like the positive electrodes of a battery.  They are plated with metal that are less reactive than zinc.  When we put the copper and zinc plates into the lemon (or whatever it is you chose to use) a chemical reaction takes place.

Electrons which are very small particles too small to see with the naked eye move from the zinc plates to the copper plates and this is what activates the LCD clock.  It is the lemon juice that conducts the electricity.

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